HM2 Larry Jo Goss, my dad
Larry Jo Goss was a Marine, a Navy Corpsman, a soldier, and a Veteran. More than any of that, though, he was my dad. He loved me and my mom, Marty, more than anything. Bowling in Gas City, Indiana, writing poetry, playing cards, and dancing were some of my dad's hobbies. Working hard to save money for college, supporting his family, and breaking the cycle of generations poverty were a major focus in my dad's life. My dad was a friend to everyone, and never ceased to bring joy to those around him through his goofy smile and incredible personality. I am beyond proud of my dad, and I know that his life, however short it was, impacts me and will impact others too.
His Story Became My Story
For as long as I can remember, I have known that I would one day write a book about my dad. There were many other things I wanted to accomplish first, but I believed the right time would come one day. Being the daughter of a Navy corpsman who was killed in action in Vietnam created for me a challenge to stay in the present while remaining connected to the past. I knew it was important for my children to know the legacy of their grandfather, but I didn’t want them to be negatively affected by his loss the way I had been. For this reason, it took me fifty-four years to complete this book. Over time, pieces of the puzzle were revealed, though all did not fit. As I searched for the truth about how my father was killed, I found some stories that were true and some that proved to be fiction. Through this journey, I learned the importance of empathy and the power of love.
When a child grows up without a parent, the stories passed down create an image of the person they long for. These stories craft the child’s identity and understanding of love. My journey was filled with roadblocks and blessings. During the moments when I was tempted to discontinue the quest, someone came along beside me and believed. It was their belief in me that propelled me forward. This book is written with the fatherless in mind.
Deep inside us all is a longing to know the love of our mom and our dad. When circumstances take them away from us, a void is created that time alone cannot heal. But as I sought to “find” my father, I found so much more. It is my hope that you find a part of yourself in the pages that follow and that, in doing so, you love deeper and savor longer the people you have the opportunity to love—because love never dies.